Exploring whether campaign ads affect voter choices

Posted at 5:37 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 07:06:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Campaign ads are hard to miss on television, but do they make an impact on how people vote?

University of Kansas political science professor Patrick Miller explained that, for most voters, the ads don’t sway their decision at the polls.

"Most voters are very predictable. You can tell very early in the year how most voters are going to vote based on what party they tend to identify with,” Miller said.

Campaign ads don’t seem to have an influence on a few people voting early in Wyandotte County.

"Ads are pretty cringey (sic). Watching them, seeing them every single time I try to watch a YouTube video or something, really annoying,” an 18-year-old voting for the first time in 2020 said.

"I've been watching things all four years, so I make my decisions on people's actions more than their words,” added another voter.

Miller explained while most voters have their minds made up, campaigns spend millions of dollars on television ads to influence undecided voters who will make a decision at the last minute.

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